Take road-tripping, camping, off-roading and just generally being outdoors, combine them all together, and there you have it, overlanding. However, is it just that simple? What can you do while overlanding? Who is overlanding for, can I just go overlanding? Well, in this article I will explain to you what overlanding is, who it’s for, and the basics of overlanding.

What Is Overlanding?

Overlanding is a way of exploring the world, using your car to navigate through nature, mostly off-road. However, you can use a motorcycle as well. During these trips, it’s a challenge to be as self-sufficient as possible. You will determine how you’ll be sleeping, eating as well as the activities you may or may not be doing.

When searching for overlanding vehicles, you will probably come across a lot of completely prepped cars that can conquer the jungle, desert, or mountains. However, you don’t need that much to go overlanding. Basic gear to go overlanding includes:

  • a tent
  • basic survival tools like a knife, multi-tool, and something to make a fire with
  • a roof rack (when you’re doing this by car)
  • a stove of some kind to make some dinner
  • Some toiletries

For a list of essential overlanding gear, click the button bellow. It will take you to the blog post.

Basic knowledge of the car may help with being self-sufficient. Also, some minor knowledge about nature can come in handy if you don’t want to get lost or in deep trouble.

These trips can last anywhere from one day to you practically living in your car. When overlanding you can go as crazy as you want and go as far away from civilization as possible. I wouldn’t recommend it when it’s your first time though.

Overlanding Over The Years

History of Overlanding

Overlanding dates back to the early 1900s. As The Compass explains in its article, the main reason for Overlanding was utilitarian. The term overlanding originated in Australia, where it was used to travel through the Outback.

In the early days, Overlanding wasn’t something people went out to do in their free time. It was part of their jobs if they wanted to or not. This mostly resulted in people taking their tents with them and sleeping on the side of the road.

Present day Overlanding

Nowadays the primary focus of overlanding isn’t utilitarian anymore. More often than not, people see overlanding as a hobby, spending their free time in nature and exploring. Whether they want to escape the cities, go on adventures, or just want to spend their time in nature, overlanding can fill this need.

People are even on the point of living and working out of their vehicles. This often began as a hobby but quickly turned into an overlanding lifestyle. People living the overlanding lifestyle are often self-employed and their work can range from running a blog to website design and being sales consultants.

It’s a great way to explore nature alone, or with a group of friends. Overlanding is not something you can only do on your own. Since you are in your car, you can take other people with you. You can go as far as going overlanding with multiple vehicles, so all your friends can come along and you can all explore the outdoors together.

Overlanding Vehicles

Now that you know what overlanding is, the question is, with what vehicle should you go overlanding? There isn’t really a specific vehicle that you need to go overlanding. However, it definitely helps when you have a vehicle that can go off-road.

Since overlanding is all about exploring and going on adventures, you will probably be going off-road quite a bit. Therefore it’s a good idea to have a vehicle that is capable of going off-road. Now, you don’t need an off-road monster but a vehicle with 4×4 and some good tires will come in handy and might save you from some tricky situations.

Until now we’ve only discussed the car side of overlanding, but there are other vehicles that you can go overlanding with. A couple of vehicles can be:

  • Motorcycles
  • ATV’s
  • Trucks
  • Vans

The vehicles listed above show you how diverse overlanding can be. Now, the most practical and safest option is to go by car. You are sheltered from the weather, which you won’t be on a motorcycle or ATV, and you can take lots of stuff with you, to make yourself comfortable or to get you out of tricky situations. This while still being small enough to maneuver through the trails, unlike vans or trucks.

Where Can You Go Overlanding?

The places you want to go Overlanding are up to you. The whole goal of overlanding is exploring the least traveled path. You should, however, be aware of the rules of the natural parks or trails you want to explore. You don’t want to mess up your nice trip with a hefty fine for not following the rules.

The rules regarding camping are also something you want to take into consideration. Not all trails, natural parks, or other places allow wild camping. Often these parks offer some kind of area where you can park your vehicle and set up camp.

Some other things to keep in mind while Overlanding is nature. You don’t want to go around and destroy the beautiful trails or campsites you are exploring. Also, if you are going to make a fire, make sure you can control it and you don’t start a wildfire. And don’t be that person that doesn’t pick up their trash. Just store it in your vehicle somewhere and get rid of it when you can, don’t leave it behind on the trails.

Who Is Overlanding For?

Now that you’re all caught up with what overlanding is and the vehicles you can use to go overlanding, maybe you’re interested in who overlanding is for. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself that overlanding is too expensive or that you don’t know enough about certain topics regarding overlanding.

There are some companies where you can rent an overland vehicle and try it out. If you are thinking of going overlanding but aren’t sure if it’s something for you, this is the best way to go. It might cost you a bit of money to rent the vehicle and insurance, however, this way you can go exploring for the weekend without making a big purchase.

Once you’ve done this, you can make a decision on whether you want to invest in an Overlanding vehicle or if this isn’t something for you. If you like being outdoors, camping, and off-roading, however, this might be something that is very addictive and just might be your new hobby.


You now know what overlanding is and who it’s for. You have learned what basic gear you need, to go overlanding with and what vehicles can be used. In general, Overlanding is for people who love nature, being outdoors, and being self-sufficient. If you also like off-roading and camping this is the perfect fit. So, are you considering overlanding for your next adventure?